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Idaho’s system of electing community college trustees faces a potential legislative shakeup

Idaho’s system of electing community college trustees faces a potential legislative shakeup on the heels of an election that centralized the College of Southern Idaho’s board.

A bill introduced Thursday in the House State Affairs Committee would require that trustee districts be divided into geographic zones with residency requirements. Its intent is to provide board representation from all areas of a college’s taxing district.

The bill’s introduction was strongly influenced by the November election, in which LeRoy Craig of Jerome and Charles Lehrman of Buhl were voted out of office in favor of Bob Keegan of Twin Falls and Kimberly’s Karl Kleinkopf.

With the election finished, all five trustees on the CSI board live within four miles of Twin Falls, while the college’s taxing district encompasses both Jerome and Twin Falls counties.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls, would also affect North Idaho College and the College of Western Idaho.

“I think in the case of community colleges, broad representation is important,” said Henderson, adding that he has similar concerns about NIC’s board.
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